Ashcroft, are you listening?

I expect this type of ruling to increase as histeria over Sept 11 subsides.

  1. Is “Judge Judy” Scheindlin related to Judge Shira A. Scheindlin?

  2. This case was discussd on the “Curtis and Kuby” radio show this morning. Radical lawyer Ron Kuby made a persuasive case that a prosecutor could not detain a potential witness before someone is charged with a crime. However, once someone is charged, a material witness can be be legally held until the trial, if the witness might not be available otherwise.

The discussion also quoted someone as saying that another judge had decided this issue differently. Neither decision was at an appellate level, so they’re not binding on anyone.

Assuming that the detention was illegal, I would still question the remedy – dismissing the perjury charge. I’m sorry that Ashcroft exceeded his authority, but freeing a guilty terrorist potentially punishes you and me.

This man is a material witness not a suspected terrorist. certainly not a guilty terrorist.

You have been criticised in another thread for using this strange and appalling logic:

**This man is suspected of being a terrorist

If we release him and he is a terrorist, then we will have released a terrorist.

Therefore we must not release him.**

The logic of this argument is that you lock up anyone suspected of a crime:

Oh, pardon me, that’s what Ashcroft and Rumsfield have been doing.

Please ignore my criticism. :mad:

You should realize that this is playing badly in Europe- EU States are becoming increasingly resistant to sending suspects to the USA because of the perceived current lack of respect for due process in the USA- a case, surely, of shooting oneself in the foot.

And imprisoning an innocent person potentially harms our freedoms.

What’s your point, december?

The article said (or implied) that he had been charged with perjury, which is a felony. We know he was picked up because of suspected ties to terrorism.

From the POV of the law, he’s innocent until proven guilty. I fully support that.

From the POV of a conversation on this thread, he probably has something to hide. Why else would he commit perjury? It’s reasonable for us to discuss the case in the light of all that we know.

No wonder far right-wing parties are making a comeback in Europe.


Every once in a while a guy gets to climb up on his high horse and shout “I told you so.” There was a discussion in one of these forums about the potential for unnecessary and hysterical restrictions of civil liberties following Sep. 11 and the modern version of the Alien and Sedition Act. At that time I opined that the real danger lay in the abuse of the power to jail people as material witnesses. I think the discussion was lost when the Board crashed. I told you so.


Le Pen lifted his vote from about 10% to about 17%- mainly a protest vote- populist and not necesarily right wing. Polls say that he will be defeated by Chirac by majority 4 or 5 to 1.

The French electoral system is weird.

No right-wing backlash.

No other western (or probably eastern) European country has a government as right wing as the Bush Administration. Even the Clinton administration was right wing compared with the great majority of European governments. Even the Thatcher Government was ‘socialist’ by US standards- maintained welfare state and socialized medicine massively above US standards.

Facts, dammit, facts. :smiley:

You were right on, Spavined Gelding.

Guinastasia, my point was to agree that this person had been improperly held, but to question whether dismissing the perjury charges was an appropriate remedy.

He was charged, with perjury, december. He was not found guilty of perjury.

You say from one side of your mouth that you support the fundamental right of all human beings to be considered innocent until proven guilty of a crime, while from the other you act as judge and jury, convicting the man of crimes withint crimes within potential crimes.

That ain’t right, cap’n.

Why would he commit perjury?

1/ He notes that the US is currently slightly insane when the word Terrorism is mentioned.

2/ He notes that the Justice Department is trying to lock up as many suspicious muslims as possible.

3/ He notes that the Justice Department seems to have forgotten the Rule of Law and the concept of Due Process.

4/ He decides that lying is preferable to telling the truth and being screwed over by the state.

Sounds reasonable to me.

Even if he is guilty of perjury, he is not even accused, let alone suspected of terrorism.

Fox is at this moment asking a very similar question about the charitable Trust accused of funding Al Qaida. The Justice Department admits that it has no evidence of it supporting
terrorism, and is relying on perjury as a back-up charge- essentially a method of punishing the technically innocent.

I see no evidence that he has committed perjury.

I see Ashcroft claiming that somewhere in the various statements this wrongly-imprisoned man has made during the course of his confinement, Ashcroft can find some apparently contradictory statement that Ashcroft now wants to trump up as “perjury” so as to deny him his freedom for a few more months (while shopping for a judge and jury that will convict the guy regardless of Ashcroft’s flimsy case).

Once again, december what you apparently want to have happen in these cases is that our current system change their rules.

Generally speaking, any/all evidence that is obtained w/o a valid warrent is disallowed. The judge, in this case, ruled that the search that discovered the evidence of perjury was the result of an uninformed and involuntary consent . Our system requires that any search of personal property done is either by warrant (where the police/feds/prosecutor must prove there’s reasonable belief that crime has been committed, and evidence would be found), or be voluntarily consented to. The judge ruled the consent was not voluntary, therefore any evidence obtained by the search is inadmissable.

this is pretty basic to our system. Once again, we must ask you to give some reason why cases arising from 9/11 should be handled in a materially different way than other cases. Other than ‘but if they’re guilty then we’re releasing a terrorist’ (since of course, in other cases, we’ve routinely released murderers, rapists, theives etc. when the search was flawed)

According to the Constitution,

That’s where I stand. He should be presumed innocent of perjury and given a speedy, public, and impartial trial.

You guys are criticizing my wording. Fair enough. The wording was loose. A more precise statement would be to call him an accused perjurer and a suspected terrorist.

What about my specific point. Do you think it was right to dismiss the perjury charges?

Every person charged with a crime is presumed innocent until proven guilty and is entitled to a speedy, public, and impartial trial

I am not a constitutional lawyer, goddammit I’m not even an American, but I would assume that the number of people charged with a crime, and which does not result in a trial is considerable- or does a police charge always result in a trial in your universe.

I would even make a guess that the number of trials is less than fifty percent of the number of charges- what with plea bargainings, lack of evidence, decisions not to prosecute etc. etc…

The constitution gives an entitlement; it does not mandate that a trial should follow every accusation- the justice system would not stand that.

Oh, and how’s your reading of European politics going- found anyone more right-wing than Bush. :smiley:

I answered your specific point december apparently the charge was thrown out because the evidence that might sustain a verdict was obtained illegally.

I would have a decided problem w/a drasitic change allowing illegally obtained evidence into trials.

IN addition, tom also addressed your point, since the ‘perjury’ involved may have been a question of semantics (what was so and so’s first name) or a questionable time line (when was the last time you saw so and so - that’s not always an easy thing to answer, especially if the person didn’t mean much to you).

>> What about my specific point. Do you think it was right to dismiss the perjury charges?

What do you mean “right”? Are you kidding? That’s the ruling of the judge! That’s what the law says: “Evidence gathered illegally cannot be used against a suspect”. The judge ruled the evidence was gathered illegally and the DOJ has to abide by the ruling. It’s not like they can choose what rulings to abide by. If they cannot charge him now it is because of their own fault.

In any case, the main point is that the Government had the man in jail illegally. You don’t seem to care about that. Is it OK for the government to imprison people unlawfully? Is it OK for them to break the law?

For god’s sakes, december!

It’s already been said, that the evidence for the perjury charge was obtained illegally, and thus, was inadmissable!

If it hadn’t been dismissed, we would have been inviolation the law!

Is violating a law right?

By december’s logic, we should imprison everyone in the United States, because all of us might be guilty of a crime! :eek: :rolleyes:

Ashcroft acted properly, based on the law as it stood.

From the OP’s cite

In other words, Ashcroft’s actions were allowed under the 1971 decision. Judge Scheindlin had a legal right to rule differently, because it was not a binding decision. However, it’s hard to fault Ashcroft for acting in accordance with a judge’s interpretation.

Guinastasia, sailor – Yes, the judge made a ruling, but it may be appealed. * Do you think an appeals judge should reinstate the perjury charge?*

wring – I’m familiar with the principle that evidence gathered during an illegal search cannot be used. However, I’m not aware of any cases where perjury charges were thrown out because a detention was illegal, altthough there may be some. Do you know of any examples?

tomndebb, you have no basis for claiming that the case for perjury was flimsy. In any event, that wasn’t the judge’s stated basis for throwing out the perjury charges.

rjung – My logic says that someone who commits perjury should be prosecuted. Just because you-know-who got away with it doesn’t mean everyone should get away with it.

Bush doesn’t tolerate defacing synogogues and attacking Jews on the street. It’s about time for Europeans to stop denouncing America, and put your own house in order.

december try reading again. The judge ruled that the search of the detainee’s residence was illegal, saying that the ‘consent’ was not voluntarily given, the defendant’s status as a detainee may have added to the involuntary nature of the consent, but was not otherwise relevant.